Forty-seven short films by women from thirteen countries vied to be among the eleven winners of the St. Francis College 4th Annual Women's Film Festival, a three-day event honoring women's contributions to cinema and showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers from around the globe.
The screenings of competing films – each no more than 15 minutes -- occurred throughout the festival's run from April 5th to 7th, along with panel sessions in which established female film professionals discussed the art and business of filmmaking.
At the festival's closing ceremony, Augusta Palmer, the festival director and St. Francis College Communication Arts Assistant Professor, announced the winners across all categories:
- Kodak Prize: "Take My Breath Away" by Gloria Endres De Oliveira
- Youth (made by a person who is under 19 and has not started college): "Schoolhouse Glock" by Jasmine Lecount-McClanahan
- Experimental: "Matter Out of Place" by Oona Taper
- Virtual Reality: "Filamu" by Maud Clavier
- Student Animation: "Two of Every Kind" by Asaf Yecheskel
- Student Documentary: "Memoirs of Saira & Salim" by Eshwarya Grover
- Student Narrative: "Middle Lands" by Maria Conte
- Professional Animation: "Panic Attack" by Eileen O'Meara; "Tangle" by Malihe Ghloamzadeh
- Professional Documentary: "Seasonal Guests" by Doro Carl
- Professional Narrative: "Selkie" by Amy Frear
- SFC Student: "Chinese New Year in New York" by Alessandra Flynn
"This year's Women's Film Festival was a true testament to the talent and vision of young women who care about filmmaking," said Palmer. "From their discussions around VR to insights into using crowdfunding to finance films to the breadth of creativity in films screened, the festival affirmed that women deserve their place at the forefront of cinema today."
The closing ceremony featured a screening of "Giving Birth in America: New York," a short produced by Every Mother Counts. Nan Strauss, Every Mother Counts' Director of Policy and Advocacy, and Berenice Kernivan, a doula from Ancient Song Doula Services, took part in a Q&A discussion about the film and issues involving the safety of pregnancy and childbirth. Singer Mijori Goodwin of Create 2030, an organization that links artists with work that supports the United Nations' Sustainability goals, performed live.
In addition to Alessandra Flynn, whose film "Chinese New Year in New York" won the SFC Student category, several other SFC student filmmakers took part in the Festival. Alexandra Kenny screened her short "Spring Has Sprung" and took part in a Q&A on Saturday. Tim Cecere was director on a project written and produced by Josie Brennan (who is not and SFC student). Senior Danielle Francavilla debuted her film, "50 Years of Women at SFC," commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of lay women's first admission to the college.
More than 200 filmmakers from 35 countries entered films for the Festival's consideration. Women directed, produced and/or wrote all selected films. The Women's Film Festival sponsors were IFP, ScreeningRoom, Alamo Drafthouse, Hassenstein Design and Kodak. Its partners are Cinematcher and Athena Film Festival.